As I look to 2020, I can see a great 12 months that could further cement Idaho’s status as the freest, most liberty-loving state in the union.
To arrive there, though, we need more liberty-oriented partisanship, not less.
That word — the p-word — has become dirty in some circles. Some, typically journalists, and left-leaning politicians in both political parties, want conservatives to work in a bipartisan manner. They say if conservatives simply abandon their principles, people of all political stripes will clasp hands and break out in songs of praise to the newfound peace.
That’s utter nonsense.
Make no mistake about it: Those who shame conservatives for holding to their deeply held beliefs and values shame you so you will adopt their government-knows-best ideas. They want you to abandon your love of liberty and your belief that personal, voluntary action is a key tenet of American life. These actors never, ever ask you to work in a bipartisan way toward a freedom-oriented end. No, this crowd wants conservatives to abdicate their duty to protect the republic in the name of top-down governance.
Don’t believe me? Ask yourself how often do you see a newspaper’s editorial section advocate for less government? This won’t take long because it doesn’t happen.
Thus, I offer my New Year’s resolution: more partisanship and more fidelity to the American values of liberty and property.
I write this knowing 2020 could be an especially wonderful year for Idaho and its residents. Think about what lies directly ahead: The 2020 legislation session, wherein lawmakers could positively reform the property tax, repeal or lessen the state’s grocery tax, and repeal or seriously reform Common Core education standards.
That said, special interests and progressive politicians lie in wait to muck it all up. That’s why conservatives must stand strong and hold tightly to the principles of life, liberty and property.
If we don’t, the cities’ and counties’ lobbyists will sneak carveouts into the property tax reform and special language that will keep your property taxes higher than they need to be.
Special interests and government bureaucrats could also kill grocery tax repeal. Think of the budget, they will say. How will we ever afford this or that program, they will whisper into lawmakers’ ears. The media will proclaim Idahoans have had enough tax relief. Newspapers will urge lawmakers to expand government.
And Education Inc. is already clamoring for lawmakers to keep Common Core standards, which fail students and hamstring educators. Teachers unions are gearing up to apply pressure on the lawmakers who have the opportunity to give students a first-class education by dropping Common Core. Will freedom-minded Idahoans tap into the ring for this rumble?
The coming year is the time for more partisanship — to advance and secure personal and economic liberty. This is the time for steel spines and clear minds that put Idahoans first. This is a time for Idahoans to hold their lawmakers accountable if they deviate from the path that leads to a freer, more prosperous Idaho.